I advocate that no person should carry a gun or knife (deadly instruments) without also carrying pepper spray (non-lethal instrument). Pepper spray, also called OC, is much more likely to be appropriate compared to a gun. It can also be carried in many, many more locations than a firearm.
Without a less than lethal option, there are few options between fisticuffs and gunfire. That’s not a solid plan. Good pepper spray is based on Oleoresin capsicum (OC) content, not on Scoville heat units. Look for something with a concentration over 1% Major Capsaicinoids. Pepper spray is cheap, easy to use, and generally effective. I recommend and carry Sabre Red.
Here is a guide showing the laws for all 50 states: https://www.concealedcarrytoday.com/pepper-spray-laws-by-state/